Young people are being encouraged to step back in time and learn dances from the First World War as part of an arts initiative to help bring the period to life. Wiltshire Council has been awarded £34,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Dancing Back to 1914 – a project combining dance with learning the social history of 1910 to 1920. Aimed at 12 to 19 year olds, there will be regular dance sessions in Tidworth, Trowbridge, Salisbury and Malmesbury to inspire young people, their families and communities to engage in sharing and learning about the social history of 1910-20, focusing on the First World War.
People wanting to learn the dances or become involved in preparing for performances including costume and stage design are being invited to attend. No previous dance experience is necessary. The project will include pop-up dances, performances and celebrations of learning and achievement which will be shared with peers, families and the wider community. The council through its Wiltshire Youth Arts Partnership will work with Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre on the venture. As well as preparing dance performances, young people will gain an insight into social life during the decade by visiting museums and historic buildings, talking to inspirational people relaying stories from the time and reading letters from the frontline.
Stuart Wheeler, cabinet member with responsibility for heritage and arts said: “This is a unique way to bring a crucial period of time in our history to life for people living today. “By covering the whole decade we can understand how society changed during this time, what happened to people who went away and the changing role of women. I’m looking forward to watching this exciting project evolve.”
The project will run for a year in term time only with performances in the summer, Christmas and spring 2016. Young people can sign up for one term or for the whole year. Venues are as follows:
Trowbridge Town Hall, Market Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8EQ Starting Monday 27 April 2015 5.30-7.00pm
Malmesbury Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ Starting Monday 27 April 2015 4.30-6.00pm
The Dance Studio, Wellington Academy, Tidworth Road, Tidworth, SP11 9RR Starting Tuesday 28 April 2015 5.00-6.30pm
Salisbury Arts Centre, Bedwin Street, Salisbury SP1 3UT Starting with a taster session on Thursday 7 May 2015 Weekly classes start Thursday 4th June 2015 7pm to 8:30pm
Wiltshire Youth Arts Partnership is part of Wiltshire Council and works with young people and children to enrich lives through accessible and high quality arts activity. http://www.wyap.org.uk/metadot/index.pl